Damp Proofing Question

Mould on clothing but not the walls


I'm renting a terraced house. It's a 3 bed with the third bedroom being an attic conversion. My partner and I decided that we would use this room as our walk in wardrobe room as it had a built in wardrobe built into one of the walls, she uses this while I use clothing rails to hang my clothes (including my collection of Stone Island clobber)

When we first viewed the property I noticed mould on one of the master bedroom walls (the separating wall to our next door neighbour). This we were assured would be professionally treated prior to us moving in.

It wasn't, it was painted over!!! We discovered this shortly after our daughter was born... The mould reappeared and despite getting onto the letting agency we were ignored. We were even forced to put our daughter at risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) by moving her into another room to sleep at 3 months old, to protect her from the mould spores. There was also another mould patch on another wall.

We contacted the letting agents who visited the property. The conclusion was that because we had the original wooden guttering it it was rotten and causing water to run down the external wall causing mould to form internally (the effected area was about 5ft in length). The wallpaper was removed and the wall was treated by 'professionals' and left bare for 3-4 weeks before being re-wallpapered.

2 weeks after we moved in the landlord arranged for workmen to come round and gut the cellar as it had a major damp issue.

Then a few months later, after the summer my partner noticed mould on a number of pairs of her (leather) shoes stored in the built in attic wardrobe, this she found was spreading to her clothes too.

A short while later I noticed that my clothes were riddled with mould too and a horrifically bad mouldy/earthy smell filled the room. What struck me as odd was there was no mould on the walls/roof etc, just clothing

What is causing mould to form on clothing but not walls? I know for mould to form in leather there has to be 70-80% moisture in the atmosphere but as the damp specialist was sent by the landlord/letting agent and he's not concluded that there's an issue with the property they aren't willing to get the mouldy clothes dry cleaned. The damaged clothing cost £11,000 and they seem to think I've purposely put mould on them to get them dry cleaned!!

Also the mould on the master bedroom walls which was professionally treated... That's back now too!!

Any help would be much appreciated.

2 Answers

Best Answer

This sounds primarily like a ventilation issue. You can treat the walls as often as you like with anti-fungal paints /sprays etc but they will fail and the problem is often apparent on clothing before you get to issues on walls.
In the attic it may also be too cold - hot air rising and getting trapped in a cooler, un-ventilated space.
Keep all doors open, including cupboards nad drawres so moist air cannot so easily get trapped and cool down in enclosed spaces.
Keep your heating on constant (does not have to be high and get your landlord to get a ventilation specialist in to work out the root cause.

Answered 1st Feb 2017

EnviroVent South London and East Kent

Member since 27 Oct 2011

Sounds like a very unhealthy place to live, and with a child too.
Its ur landlords/landlady's' duty, to get a another survey, and relocate you and ur family in temporary-accommodation, you and ur family are at risk.
If you can see it clearly on ur shoes/cloths , it must be very bad.
A new gutter may have been re-fitted, but maybe no attention to the areas, it was leaking on/down.
Should have been dryer out with some source, of heat hair-dryer/e.t.c
And the we dry re-pointed/render/paint.
By fitting a new plastic gutter straight on, to replace the old 1, has trapped the damp there.
Water may have got through the top of the wall/roof and down the cavity.
These landlord e.t.c
It is common sense, this is bad 4 health and can and will cause health problems if it is not dealt with soon.
Ur landlord should be covered by insurance, to deal with all this .
More building work will be required, to fix this problems and I suggest 2 or 3 surveys.
Just painting over e.t.c will not fix it, will get worse.
The company that has done the work should also be insured, but the landlord may have chosen the cheaper option.
Please let me know what the outcome is, I would be interested .

Answered 8th Mar 2014


Member since 12 Feb 2014

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